Joe Girardi was one of many, many people who got ejected after the multiple fights between Yankees and Tigers players on Thursday afternoon. If you missed the largest original fight, or just want to watch it again because it was fun, here you go.
After the game, Girardi was unhappy with everyone he possibly could be unhappy with in his press conference and he didn’t mince words throughout.
He called the umpiring crew out for not ejecting Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer for hitting Gary Sanchez, which could have been intentional and may have prevented everything that came after, and called the proceedings “poorly handled.”
He said he “didn’t understand why there was no warning” and that they needed to “understand the importance of the game, understand how the game is supposed to be played.”
Beyond that, he cited examples from the final few innings of the game where the strike zone was at best questionable. About why the fighting was necessary in the first place, Girardi noted that if the umpires were going to put things in the teams’ hands then they were going to protect themselves accordingly — essentially noting that once the umpires failed to do their jobs it was up to the players completely.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (who was also ejected for arguing) didn’t escape Girardi’s list of annoyances either, saying that there was no reason for Ausmus to (allegedly) swear at Yankees players on the field.
Rumors say that Ausmus yelled “F— you!” at Brett Gardner (which in turn set Gardner off big time) and in response Girardi said “and then Brad Ausmus is going to say to F-you to one of my players? C’mon Brad. What is that?" Ausmus told local reporters that allegation was false.
He did have positive words for his own team, saying that “boys will be boys in the heat of the moment.” When a reporter pressed him on whether adult players need to be aware of long-term consequences, Girardi did acknowledge that he was speaking instinctually and protecting his players after a day of controversy.
Lastly, he took a moment to give the team a quality new motto for the rest of the season, saying that to his guys,
“Make sure everyone’s alright and fight together. That’s it. Fight together on the field and in everything that we do.”
If there aren’t at least a dozen Yankees fans with “fight together” signs in the seats on the next home stand then a baseball isn’t round.
Girardi is probably about to get fined a whole bunch for these comments, but something tells me he doesn’t really care right at this moment.